The Best Fall Festivals to Check Out This Season in Philly
Fall is coming, so mark your calendars to celebrate, eat and explore your way through Philly.
It’s already September, which means school’s back in session, pumpkin spice lattes have the audacity to be sold in a freaking heatwave, and fall will soon be upon us. So get your sweaters out of storage and start marking your calendars for events sure to give you all the fall feels around town.
Be sure to check back here, as things are constantly changing and being added.
And don’t despair, spooky season enthusiasts: Halloween events will be in a whole separate article later this month (and pumpkin-related festivities, which are somehow different than Halloween). Looking for Oktoberfests? Check back soon for those, too.
Want this and more great weekend content delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to Philly Mag’s Weekender newsletter. It’s delivered every Thursday morning and packed with content to fill your Friday/Saturday/Sunday with events, food, thrills and adventure.
This “coast-to-coast” event brings a family-friendly fun and water-centered learning to both the Philadelphia and Camden waterfronts. You can ride the RiverLink Ferry between the two locations which will both host environmental exhibitors who will talk about preserving the watershed. Plus, there will be free kids’ activities, crafts, games, paddle-boating and more. You can also explore Independence Seaport Museum for free that day (just grab a wristband at the info table). You can also sign up for a 28-mile Loop the Delaware bike ride, which begins at 9 a.m.
September 9th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia and Wiggins Park, Camden, NJ.
Philadelphia Fringe Festival (and related events)
This annual citywide celebration of contemporary art and performance features over 1,000 events throughout the city. Whether you’re into dance, circus, comedy, avant-garde performance art, theater or music, there’s truly something for everyone — including kid-friendly shows and free stuff, too. Check out our picks for the festival so you can grab your must-see tickets.
Concurrent to Fringe is the independently produced Cannonball Festival at Crane Arts’ Icebox Project Space, the Maas Building, the Fidget, and Liberty Lands Park. See the lineup here. There’s also Free Fringe, which is exactly what it sounds like: a subset of Fringe Festival performances that are free of charge.
September 7th-24th, various locations.
Opera Philadelphia returns with its multi-day celebration featuring new works, opera films, and more, including the world premiere of 10 Days in a Madhouse and the Philadelphia premiere of Unholy Wars. And since this also runs concurrent to the Fringe Festival, they share Late Night Snacks, a nightly “potluck performance” show by Bearded Ladies Cabaret.
September 21st-October 1st, various locations.
Evil Genius Beer Company celebrates 12 years with a throwback party featuring live music, vintage vendors, free activities, food trucks and more. The event is kid- and dog-friendly, too!
September 9th, noon-6 p.m., 1727 North Front Street.
Kennett Square is the “mushroom capital of the world,” so of course they’re going to go all out for fungus. The two-day festival has plenty of mushroom-centric food, plus live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, and more.
September 9th-10th, 101 South Union Street, Kennett Square.
East Passyunk Avenue is hosting its first-ever fall music fest, a day of live music, food and drink, and fun for all. Over two dozen live music acts and bands of varying genres, from jazz to opera to salsa (see the lineup here), will perform across five stages. There will also be food vendors, a bouncy house and other activities for kids, roving stilt-walkers, a goat rescue, arts and crafts, shopping and more.
September 10th, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., East Passyunk Avenue from Broad to Dickinson streets.
This North Philly celebration of Latino culture dates back to 1979, and includes live music and dancing, food, arts and crafts, and much more. This year also includes a celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary and highlights Afro-Puerto Rican contributions to the genre with performances by El Hijo de Borikén, Neo-Plena, and Piquete.
September 10th, 1-5 p.m., North 5th Street between Huntingdon and Somerset streets.
Now in its 14th year, the Philadelphia Honey Festival brings a weekend of bee-centric activities to two historic locations: Wyck historic house and Bartram’s Garden. The festival has fun for all ages, with beekeeping demos and talks, food trucks, honey tastings, kids’ activities, vendors, and even a guy with a beard of bees!
September 16th (Wyck Historic House, 6026 Germantown Avenue) and 17th (Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard).
This event hosted by Kimmel Cultural Campus in partnership with the Philadelphia Orchestra features free live performances and fun activities in the Kimmel Center, as well as local arts organizations in attendance with details about their programs for the season. Performances range from dance to jazz to opera and beyond, culminating with a free concert by the Orchestra at 3:30 p.m. (Reserve a free ticket for that here.)
September 23rd, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., The Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
So … this event used to be called Fishtown FestivALE and now it’s called Fishtown Feastivale. Why does this distinction matter to anyone beyond case-sensitive robots? Well, as the event website will tell you, the new name denotes a stronger focus on local food, not just beer. So, alongside your favorite beers and cocktails (of which there will still be many), you can chow down. Plus, carnival games, a dunk tank, DJ sets, and over 75 art and retail vendors. This event is family- and dog- friendly, too.
September 23rd, noon-8 p.m., Frankford Avenue from Girard to Columbia Avenue and side streets (Master Street from Front to Frankford, Thompson from Front to Frankford).
Like West Philly’s summertime event, but on the Main Line! Stroll the neighborhood for a day of free music played on the porches of south Wayne (Midland Avenue, St. Davids Road and Windermere Avenue). The streets will be closed to motor traffic, so you can enjoy nearly a mile of music (or just bring a blanket and post up somewhere, there are no rules).
September 23rd, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Midland Avenue, St. Davids Road and Windermere Avenue, Wayne.
In honor of National Coming Out Day in October, Manayunk hosts a weekend-long festival on Main Street and beyond. Entertainment includes live music, Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings, lots of drag (bingo, cabaret, storytime … all of it!), comedy and more. There will also be a Pride Party on Saturday, September 30th, with music, vendors, artists and LGBTQ+ organizations.
September 28th-October 1st, Main Street, Manayunk.
Kick off fall with shopping, food and drink, live entertainment, kids’ activities and more. Pretty straightforward as far as street fairs go, but the 13th Street restaurants’ offerings will certainly elevate your street-food experience.
September 30th, noon-8 p.m., 13th and Walnut streets and surrounding blocks (12th to Juniper streets, Chestnut to Locust streets).
Everyone’s favorite donation-drop-off spot and treasure-hunting destination is turning 18 and they’re throwing a birthday bash in Queen Village. The nonprofit thrift store benefiting HIV /AIDS service organizations will celebrate in style with live music, DJ Robert Drake, carnival games, a “celebrity dunk tank,” food trucks, shopping, a pie-eating contest and more merriment.
September 30th, noon-6 p.m., 710 South 5th Street.
Shop over 100 local artists, crafters and makers for everything from handmade jewelry and original artworks to candles and skincare products. Plus, enjoy make-and-take craft activities, live music, and aerialist performances by Tangle Movement Arts. It’s also a great excuse to explore the Woodlands’ 54 walkable acres.
September 30th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Avenue.
Upper Darby calls itself “The World in One Place,” and this festival, now in its sixth year, pays homage to that with plenty of food, music, dancing, a kids’ zone and a Parade of Flags.
September 30th, 1-6 p.m., Five Points Intersection at 100 Garrett Road, Upper Darby.
This weekend-long festival at Dilworth celebrates fall with live music and circus performers, food and drink specials, a pop-up beer garden, and the return of the Hay Maze! The whole family can enjoy a variety of games and activities (including pumpkin painting), plus you can shop local vendors at the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market.
October 6th-8th, Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street
In celebration of National Coming Out Day, Galaei is planning a weekend with include a festival, resource fair and the nation’s first-ever parade commemorating the day. An acronym for “Our Uniting Resilience,” the weekend includes a parade on Saturday, October 7th, from 4 to 6 p.m. starting at 5th and Market and ending at Broad and Locust. On October 8th from noon to 7 p.m., the celebration continues with the National Coming Out Festival in the Gayborhood. With a lineup of over 200 grassroots organizations, nonprofits, artists, entertainers, food trucks and more, this festival will spread out from 12th to 13th streets, and from Walnut to Spruce. Read more here.
October 6th-8th, various locations.
For over four decades, Germantown has hosted a day of family entertainment, food, music, and reenactments of the Battle of Germantown around the neighborhood’s historic sites. It’s a fun way to learn about the people who lived through and fought in the Revolution right here in Philadelphia.
October 7th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Cliveden, 6401 Germantown Avenue.
Celebrate fall on America’s most historic square mile. Activities will include a festival stage with live music, pop-up street performances, a family fun zone, dozens of food and drink options, craft and retail shopping, and over 100 Old City vendors.
October 8th, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 3rd and Arch streets.
This festival welcomes the season with over 100 arts and craft vendors, live art demonstrations, live music, shopping, food, and fun for the family all along Germantown Avenue.
October 8th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Germantown Avenue between Willow Grove and Rex avenues.
The oldest design festival of its kind in the country, DesignPhiladelphia celebrates the history, artists, and innovation that makes Philadelphia such an attraction for culture and design with over 100 open houses, exhibits, and more over 12 days. It all kicks off on October 4th with a party at Cherry Street Pier.
October 4th-15th, various locations.
Outsider art, oddness, music, food, beer, eclectic performances, stuff for kids, and more converge on this wonderfully weird street fair. Wizards, circus performers, wrestlers … and you? Why not? This year’s festival moves later in the season, to November, and promises: “Hearts of gold, big ideas and shiny things.” So, if that sounds like a good time to you, you know where to go.
November 4th, 2-9 p.m., Philadelphia Brewing Company, 2440 Frankford Avenue.